Landmines: New Scourge in Yemen, the War Town

October 3, 2018

For Imad and Alia, his sister, life was never going to be the same after a landmine killed their father and they were forced to leave their endangered home at the Western Hodeida province of Yemen.

The house being surrounded by deadly munitions, these two children and their mother left the village of Al-Dunain and they headed towards the Al-Waara camp of the Khokha district which 30 kilometers away from the town of Hays.

The mother Fethiyeh Fartout said that by withdrawing Iran, supported by the Huthi rebels is known to have dotted the area using mines. While making his way to the market, her husband was killed on the road that was filled with mines. She told that after this Huthis asked them to either leave the house or risk getting killed.

This family is just one among the millions to be caught up in the war that the Huthi rebels have been fighting for over three years against the Yemeni government that was supported by the Saudi-led coalition of the military. Rights group mention that both the sides have committed prospective war crimes in the battle that has killed about 10,00 people, majority of them being civilians.

While the Saudi-led coalition has come under attack for the air raid which have killed civilians that includes children, the Huthis are accused of indiscriminate and widespread use of the landmines.

It is said that Yemen is the signatory to the Mine Ban Treaty that came into effect in the year 1999. It has the goal of eliminating landmines and also clear up large areas of the polluted land. International bodies consider indiscriminate use of the landmines to be a war crime.

Even though the Houthi rebels haven’t made any comments regarding the landmine, the rebel-controlled foreign ministry, Sanaa, in a letter to HRW in 2017 have denied the use of any landmines of even having stockpiles. Also, they have added that they were vigilant in abiding by the commitments mentioned under the treaty.